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Thursday, April 21, 2016

"In Spring Time--the Only Ring-a-Ding Time..."

I grabbed my camera and hopped on my bike to head on over to campus to catch the morning light this morning.  Most days I'm crashing to get to early classes, but Thursdays are a little more lazy.

Peking University (a.k.a. PKU, Beijing University and Beida--Bay-DAH) was part of the Old Summer Palace grounds before it became a university in 1898.  My students tell me that it has varieties of plant life that are unique in all of China!  

Yesterday a student gave a delightful presentation on several varieties of edible spring plants that can be picked here--if you know what you're doing!

My bike path led around this beautiful lake

and in front of this traditional building.  I am hopeful that you're feeling this!!!!

 Random student faces.  If I've learned anything living in China, I've learned that there is NO such thing as an anonymous face--they ALL have incredible amazing stories behind them.

A rare ONE bicycle sighting.  Bikes here come in throngs of hundreds and thousands mixed in with pedestrians, lunatic delivery carts, flat-bed go-karts, cars, taxis, vendors, e-bikes, dogs and cats, baby strollers--

As an extra photographic treat, today the university is hosting some sort of high school event.  These girls told me they're 15!  As I walked away from them, they erupted in voracious giggles.

 I sneaked up on this guy.  A female joined him, I probably upset their nesting, and

they both swam away.

Day shift.

I like this lassie's lavender ribbons.

My outing was capstoned by coming upon a small gathering of mothers and grandmothers enjoying a cracker break in the park with their little people. 

 This diminuative guy had the traditional "vented" pants through which he was peeing  on the grass when I approached the group.  They generously let me photograph the babies, and then (inevitably this always happens) they all wanted to jump into pictures with me in them (because I'm so freakishly NON Chinese).  Great fun.  I held the babies and tickled them. The babies obliged by cooperating.  Grandmothers leaping in and out of the pictures.  Excited Chinese chatter.  Me using my sub pre-school Chinese skills. Of course, when I handed one of them MY camera, the battery died.  I shall return!

Thursday, March 31, 2016


If you come on a tour to China and have limited time or if you want a shorter trip to get to the Great Wall, you come to Badaling.  Or if you want the intimate body contact of 5.21 million of your CLOSEST friends!

Much of the wall here has been retrofitted to accomodate the crowds, but it's still great fun.

Our friend Cam fleet footed it over to this tower. 

 He hides his goat genes well, doesn't he?

Like I was saying...

Our awesome friend Chris (who, incidentally, is getting pressured to run for mayor of Roy, UT when he returns) and new friend on our tour bus-- Carlos from Spain!

Paco surveys the landscape--perhaps he's recalling bringing his mail order girlfriend here 19 years ago.  I recall it brilliantly!  There was a camel up here, it was very very hot, and we climbed and climbed.  That was day 2.  By then I'd pretty much sized up this guy.  Who knows if he me...

This is our age group!  We get them!  These guys have jobs, however.

And girls to match perhaps!  I've been going to suggest to our folks at BYU that we dispense with English teaching and take up matchmaking!!  Seriously.  

Love love love the Chinglish signs--sort of like hidden Mickeys all over the country!

I won't deny that I have mental disorders, but I did refrain from "curving or painting in the car" in the cable car going down.

Favorite books

  • Me 'n Steve
  • Thundering Sneakers
  • James Herriott's vet books
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Travels with Charley
  • A Walk in the Woods
  • Peace Like a River
  • The Egg and I
  • Mary Poppins
  • Extremly Loud Incredibly Close
  • How Green Was my Valley